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(pin)cushions

April 2, 2014

beach combing

We went to the beach the other day. Except seeing dolphins peacefully swimming in the Morey Firth for the first time I found this treasure. It sparked few ideas…

I thought the simple design would make a nice cushion, but let’s start with a pincushion

I painted some mordanted linen with a paint made from logwood

black square

and wasn’t much impressed

But I liked what I found on the other side and here is the result

pincushion

I did the same with paint derived from avocadoavocado dye and turmeric

turmeric dye

this one is on silk

Each side of the three pincushions is different and makes my ‘random’ side of brain happy :). Maybe one day there will be some cushions as a result…

printed pin cushions

ps: my etsy shops will be closed from April 4th till April 22nd.

 

random

March 31, 2014

I have been working with partial resist lately. I create conditions for abstract images to happen, but am in control of the rest: the fabrics are mordanted  so that they hold paints derived from plants well and make images light and wash fast. It’s a slow slow process and there are times when I stop liking it, feeling that the slow pace becomes hindrance to the creative flow. But for now I am sticking with natural paints; limitations are challenging and a challenge forces us to find out more and look for new ways.

One specific challenge here is the darker marks around the black print. That wasn’t planned, I was hoping for clear sharp almost black against white. I have washed the cotton cloth, tried to use lemon to bleach it but to no avail. So ‘tomorrow again and in a different way’ (it’s a title of a Slovakian book which so often comes to my mind..).

monochrome print

abstract print

black and white print

Reflections

March 28, 2014

One more bonus of the sun coming out is the reflections and shadows it casts.
This is how it fell on our morning table through the glass plate (negative image of the original)

image

image

inspiration

March 25, 2014

in·spi·ra·tion  (ĭn′spə-rā′shən) n.

1.

a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity
abstract
This is just one example of imagery which I find highly stimulating at the moment. Bigger size here.
I like the story behind the image. It’s a photo of a small section of a gym hall floor. The entire floor is covered in absolutely random  marks resulting from various activities going on in  there  – here in UK the gyms are used for physical exercise, school meetings & performances as well as canteens. And against the dark dots and lines there are these  yellow and  red stripes of different shapes marking the right position for indoor games.
I like the colours – the subtle almost fleeting black against the white and the bold somehow strict red. To me it’s both contemplative and dynamic. But what evokes ‘a high level of feeling’ is the total randomness. For some time I have been noticing how much random beauty there is around – all those marks, colours, textures and structures which human beings create while doing conscious activities or which just  happen naturally, perhaps as a result of ‘dust to dust’ principle.
I have taken this concept of random/ness as a starting point for some of my recent samples. Creating environment for random marks to appear and then finishing them off with paints derived from plants, combination of surrendering and controlling. I want to learn to let go more and more often so for now making room for random is very important to me.
 I thought I would have some finished pieces ready to show but not all worked out the way I liked so they are still just samples. Nevertheless, I will show them to you in the next post.

hello/spring

March 21, 2014

pink tulip flowers

It seems I have missed the whole ‘season’ of blogging.  *

I needed and wanted to take some time off to work on other projects, creative in one way or other, but not so much fibre related. They are not finished yet and I won’t be around for most of April but would like to resume posting here. I have been adding few photos to my Flickr stream and Instagram, but most images are still just in my mind or my sketchbook. *

In the spare time I have been mostly sewing for the house and my wardrobe but the lack of light has put me off of taking photos. *

Looking back though, I feel it has done me good to step back and be quiet. I have been thinking and trying to reduce and select - for I rarely feel uninspired but very often overwhelmed by ideas, not knowing which one to follow. It almost becomes a block.

Also, I have noticed I can spend weeks just thinking, reading & learning from all sources about a topic/technique and really enjoy that, but the accumulated information can eventually ‘choke me’. I have learned  that for me the way out is to start, if nothing else then at least sampling. Watching what happens during process, mistakes or happy accidents, wrestling with materials and their limits, trying to push the limits or give in and then reflecting on what I see – that’s what helps me to decide on the direction; basically to see what I love, like and dislike, though the idea seemed interesting. *

Regardless of the techniques and materials I would usually use and things I would make -  I try to listen – images and textures which make my heart skip a beat… (to follow…)

felted bowl

December 2, 2013

felt bowl

felted vessel

felt bowl white Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on felt and colour with me. Here are my two pennies..

  • It seems to me that working monochrome may be a little more challenging, because it’s texture, shape or structure which need/s to make a piece stand out/interesting.
  • I am not sure if my assumption is right, but I have noticed people who like/wear/buy felt often like colour very much. Also, felt which is with a lot of pattern and colour seems to be very popular. As I gravitate more towards simple and less colourful look I sometimes wonder if there is a market for such felt.
  • I work with felt because it’s a natural material, if it was eg. acrylic I wouldn’t. To me natural materials, fibres, wood, stone etc. have inherent beauty, they are beautiful even in their pre-processing form.

I have made the two felted bowls as samples for a felting class. I didn’t expect I would enjoy teaching so much, plus it is helping me to look at felt from a different angle and most of all get back to felt making after my detours to other techniques.

 

felting

November 29, 2013

It’s nice to felt again. I have been felting Christmas presents so can’t show more, but they are all little objects where I am exploring texture, colour and combination of both.

I wonder – do you associate handmade felt with colour? Is it one of the strengths of handmade woollen felt – the possibility to make a very colourful cloth? Or does it’s beauty lie in the material itself, the fact that wool is a natural and rather luxurious material? I would very much love to know what you think!

 

textured felt by red2white

felt by red2white

felting wool, red2white

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